Shweta Jain 0

Petition seeking change in school timings of DPS RK Puram, New Delhi

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Delhi Public School,

R.K. Puram

New Delhi

Sub: Representation seeking change in School Timings

Dear Sir,

We are parents of students of your school. The details of the signatory parents and their wards is given at the foot of this Representation. (Digital Signatures of parents containing their ward's Admn Nos.)

As you are aware, the School Timings at present are, 6:50 am - 1:40 pm in Summers, and 7:20 am - 1:50 pm in Winters. With all due respect for various reasons that the School may have for fixing such timings, we urge the School to re-consider this decision, and fix School timings from 8 am - 2 pm, Winter and Summer.

We request this reconsideration on account of the following reasons, which are not exhaustive, but representative:

1. The kids have to leave for school as early as 6 am in Summers, and 6:20-6:25 am in Winters. The parents obviously have to get them ready and drop them to bus stops or school, etc, for which parents have to be up by 5:00 am in Summers and about 5:30 am in winters. Please appreciate that the maximum Student population in DPS RKP consists of children of working parents, who don't get home till 8-9 pm everyday, and don't go to sleep before 12 midnight. Even those in business occupation have long evening hours at work. This means that parents are constantly sleep deprived, and this tells on their health. If school were to start at 8 am, the parents would get at least an hour of extra sleep every day, which is precious and benefits health.

This sleep deficit spirals down to the children as well, since most go to bed only after their parents are back home, which means they sleep around 10:00-10:30 pm. Children also thus do not get the recommended 8 - 8.5 hrs of uninterrupted sleep in the night. This does ultimately affect negatively, their health and academic performance as well.

There are enough studies and researches, which you would also be aware of, that list sleep deprivation as the top cause for many diseases, including hypertension, obesity and heart disease, etc. The parents of school students pay tuition fees, etc diligently, and it is incumbent on the School to show some concern for their students and their parents' health as well. Obviously, modern day parents don't have the luxury of indulging in afternoon siestas to make up their sleep deficit. The school must recognize the pressures which modern day careers and businesses impose on parents, and not fix a school routine that actually negatively affects the health of the parents.

Merely because something has been a practice for a long time, does not necessarily mean that it should continue for eternity. Being flexible and adaptable and responsive to changing times, is a hall mark of a vibrant and leading institution.

2. DPS RKP is unarguably, among the leading schools of Delhi. But, there are a number of other schools in Delhi that also belong to this "elite" category of schools e.g. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Modern School, Barakhamba Road, Modern School, Vasant Vihar, Sanskriti, Springdales, Mothers International, etc. Each of these schools uniformly follow a 6 hour work day. It is absolutely unclear to us as parents, whether and how, following a 6 hour 30 mins or 6 hours 45 mins, work day, as is done by DPS RKP, results in any beneficial effects. While DPS RKP students do very well academically, a lot of credit for that goes to the excellent faculty and good infrastructure, not to mention the sheer number of students. In any event, the above mentioned schools have equally good academic results. Their students definitely have an edge over DIPSITES in all extra-curricular activities and sports.

Please also do keep in mind that students spend an hour-and-a-half or 2 hours (in addition to the 6 hour work day), commuting to-and-fro, from home to school. Most of DPS RKP students are from junior schools, DPS EOK and DPS VV, and hence, live closer to these schools rather than DPS RKP, as their residential proximity to these schools (and not RKP) got them admission in these schools. So, even with a 6 hour work day, children are, in any event, out for 8 hours a day. With an almost 7 hour work day, this gets increased to 9 hours out of the house. That is more than the number of hours, a lot of working adults, spend away from home.

Thus, there is no empirical data supporting a longer than 6 hour school work day.

There are a number of 'day boarding' schools that follow a different model altogether e.g. Step by Step World, Vasant Valley, Shriram, so a comparison cannot be made with DPS RKP, and therefore, has not been attempted.

3. Given below, are details of the School Timings followed by different leading schools of Delhi and NCR. As you will note, no school starts before 7:30 am (in Summer) and 7:45 am (in Winter). In fact, 8 am, or close to 8 am, (winter or summer), is the norm. Each of these schools also run bus transport networks for their students, so the reasons behind DPS RKP commencing a school day before 8 am (Winter or Summer) is again inexplicable. We are certain that faculty and staff members would also prefer a school day that begins at 8 am. :-

(i). Modern School, Barakhamba Road - 8 am - 2 pm (Winter and Summer).

(ii) Modern School, Vasant Vihar - 7:50 am - 1:40 pm (Winter and Summer).

(iii) Sanskriti School - 7:30 am - 1:30 pm (Summer) and 7:45 am - 1:45 pm (Winter).

(iv). Springdales Pusa Road - commences at 8 am ( Winter and Summer).

(v) Carmel Convent - 7:30 am - 1:30 pm (Summer) and 7:45 am - 1:45 pm (Winter).

(vi) Sardar Patel Vidyalaya - 7:50 am - 1:50 pm (Winter and Summer)

(vii) Mothers International - 8 am - 2 pm (Winter and Summer).

(viii) Step By Step World School, Noida - Commences at 9:15 am in Winters and 8:30 am in Summers.

(ix) Shriram School, Gurgaon - 8:30 am - 2:30 pm (Winter) and 8 am - 2 pm ( Summer).

(x) DPS Gurgaon - 8:00 am to 2:00 pm (Winter) and 7:30 am - 1:30 pm (Summer).

4. Further, it is a documented fact that Delhi in general, has bad Air Quality, and that all Air Quality Indices show that air quality including Suspended Particulate Matter i.e. SPM content, etc is worst in the air, early in the mornings, especially in Winter months. The school is in the R.K. Puram area and students have to traverse the Ring Road ( which is a continuous stretch of road that is heavily polluted, mainly because of movement of trucks through the night) in the mornings, to reach school. Every year, there are advisories posted in Newspapers, etc, advising people to avoid early morning walks due to bad air quality, etc. SPM levels and particularly SPM 2.5 levels (which lodges itself directly and irretrievably, in the lungs), are very dangerously high in the mornings, including in the Dhaula Kuan - R.K. Puram area. It is, therefore, actually hazardous for children, to be on the road around 6:00-7:00 am in the mornings.

5. In the winter months, there is also a heavy fog cover in Delhi in the mornings, making driving (whether it's buses or private cars) dangerous due to lack of clarity.

For the above, and many other reasons, we believe that it's 'time to change'. We request the School Administration to be responsive to this Representation, and act upon it. We do believe that students will be more productive if their parents and them, get a little longer to sleep every morning, and if they don't have an unnecessary long work day at school.

Hopeful of a positive response.

Yours Truly,

Parents of DPS RKP students

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